1) 99 Pledges Hit-A-Thon -If you aren’t familiar with 99 Pledges, click the link and check them out. Their online resources make fundraising easy to organize and track.
How a Hit-A-Thon works: The team sets a date, time and location for a hit-a-thon (aka home run derby). A couple weeks ahead of time, players will ask friends, neighbors, relatives to pledge a certain dollar amount per hit they get at the hit-a-thon. For example, Aunt Barbara pledges $20 for every hit that Thomas gets. At the hit-a-thon, he launches a whopping 10! Aunt Barbara then writes a nice $200 check to Thomas’s team. (Of course, pledge amounts and hitting results will vary….A LOT!) Always invite supporters to come out and watch the hit-a-thon to see what they’re
betting, uh pledging on.
2) Cornhole Tournament -Popular from coast to coast, cornhole, aka hillbilly horseshoes, aka baggo, is big business these days. In fact, there’s even the ACA, American Cornhole Association. Hosting a cornhole tournament is a great way to get the community involved in your fundraising efforts. The popular website, Cornhole Antics will take you step by step through planning and executing a “righteous tournament.” And, as they say so eloquently on their site…
“Organizing a fundraising event can be costly and difficult. Not with cornhole – hot damn! Organizing a cornhole fundraising tournament is so much easier than those expensive and complicated golf tournaments, and it beats peddling snickers bars in the parking lot of Kmart.”
3) Cow Pie Bingo. The ultimate in shoestring budget fundraising events! All you need is a field, spray paint, and a cow that needs to defecate. (Did I really just type that?) Cow Pie Bingo can be done as part of a larger event like a festival or in conjunction with a tournament (with tourney permission, of course.)
So, basically, you’ll mark the field off into a huge Bingo card. Before the event, each player will sell the pre-marked squares, just like in a Super Bowl Squares fundraiser. To make a long story short, whoever has the numbered square that the cow drops a pie on will win cash or whatever prize has been selected. According to Modern Farmer Magazine, if the cow hasn’t done its business after eight or so hours (OMG!!!), winners will be drawn by raffle.
Click here to learn how to make this event a spattering good time for everyone. (Did I really just type that?)
- A more compact version of cow pie bingo can be done using a recently fed dog and an ample-sized dog pen. Click here for details.
4) Donation Tables. Baseball mom, Laura Hilley-Bardwell says that her son’s team raised $800 by setting up a table in front of their local supermarket (with permission from management) and asking shoppers for donations. Laura says it’s super easy to set up. “Just a card table, posters made with the team name and donation cans. Have the boys wear their jersey top and just stand outside…it’s amazing how people just hand over money to cute kids. If they have trophies, put them out as well.”
5) Team Yard Sale. You’ve got junk. I’ve got junk. We’ve all got junk. Not just in our trunks, but probably in the attic, garage, storage shed, in every closet, the kitchen junk drawer and maybe even your kid’s bat bag. Multiply all this junk by 10 or 12, choose a Saturday for your sale, find a good location, make a few signs, talk it up on social media and you’ve got a highly profitable fundraiser with little to no overhead costs. AND you’re cleaning out your house! Plus, it’s easy to get players involved. Have them help collect, organize, arrange and price yard sale items. They can also hone their customer service skills by helping shoppers carry purchases to their vehicles.
6) Dynamic Drinkware. This is a cool fundraising idea that comes highly recommended. Players sell MLB, NFL or college themed drinking cups. Who doesn’t need new team cups! A set of four costs about $25.00. Depending on revenues, teams can earn a profit of up to 40%. Click the link to learn more about how it works.
7) Restaurant Team Fundraising Nights. Participating restaurants will vary greatly from place to place, but you probably know what I’m taking about here. It’s where a local restaurant will choose a night to give your team a certain percentage of their earnings. Back in Dublin, GA, the local Dairy Queen was super generous with youth sports. In addition to giving a percentage of sales to our team on fundraising night, they’d let players serve food and bus tables for extra tips. Of course, we’d promote the event big time beforehand and then have parents and players standing out front with posters to bring in business. Last time, we raised about $1,500 in just a few hours. And it wasn’t hard work. Buffalo Wild Wings and many Chick Fil A locations do this as well. Check out 20 Chain Restaurants with Fundraising Opportunities.
8) Krispy Kreme Donuts. This has to be one of the most successful fundraisers I’ve ever done. It’s hard to say no to these delicious pastries. Plus they offer 50 to 60% profit margins on sales! Click here for everything you need to know about setting up a Krispy Kreme team fundraiser.
9) Raffle Tickets. Who hasn’t sold, or at least, purchased a few dozen raffle ticket in their lives? You can raffle off any sort of prize: restaurant gift cards, event tickets, baseball gear, cosmetic surgery, livestock, cash, you name it. Many teams ask for prize donations from local businesses.
Gather some desirable prizes, decide on ticket price, print raffle tickets (at least 100), assign a certain number of tickets for each player to sell. Once they’re sold, collect the money and then get together and have the drawing. Of course, you’ll want to notify and deliver prizes to the winners. See, pretty easy! Tickets have always been $5 or $10 for raffles we’ve done. But this can vary depending on your prizes and audience.
10) Car wash. While car wash fundraisers have been around since cars have needed washing, they’re still effective ways to make money. Players seem to love them and parents get to sit around and watch the kids work (hopefully). The Car Wash Guys offer a great (and painstakingly detailed) step by step guide to hosting a successful car wash fundraiser. Click here to read it.
11) Beer Blast! This is completely new to me, but friend and baseball mom, Kari Hicks, says that a beer blast is a super fun way to raise team money. “It’s basically where you rent out a sports bar or hall or lodge and charge $20 – $25 per person and they get unlimited beer and food for the length of the event (3 to 4 hrs). You typically also have door prizes and Chinese auction items up for grabs too or maybe a 50/50 drawing. (These items can be donated ahead of time.) Most teams can make about $3K per beer blast.” Of course, you’ll want to promote your event as much as possible ahead of time. Talk it up on social media, local message boards, etc. (scroll to the bottom for specific info on how to host one of these.)
12) Flavory Spoon Dip Mixes. These delicious dips are a hit with anyone who enjoys watching TV and snacking. Yeah, pretty much all of us. Their fundraising program offers 50% profits. Dips are only $5.
Check out DIY Fundraising for lots more creative ideas.
ADDITIONAL INFO ON BEER BLAST: First you need to find a place to have it. Bars seem to work best. Most places you can book the day and pay at the end of the event. Some may want a small deposit down. Generally the bar will charge you per cup or wristband sold. You pre-sell or sell at door your ticket, these would include beer, wine and some food. Example is you sell a $20 ticket to the beer blast, bar charges $9 per cup/wrist band, you make 11$ per sold tix. The real profits come from your raffles. I tell each family to provide two baskets for the Chinese auction. I also get donations and make more baskets. We sell these tickets something like 3 sheets for $20. We also do a 50/50. We get larger items donated such as sports tickets, concert tix, jerseys and memorabilia and sell separate tix for these also. These we sell a month prior to the event and at the event. The key to making a good profit is to get as many things donated as possible. Finding an affordable place is also key. Two years ago I paid about $600 in beer/liquor/pizza(good deal) last year about $1,100. Our net profit the last two years were about $4000 and $3500. They can be a lot of work, but with the team all working together, very profitable.
*If you’re concerned about liability issues with this, the bar or restaurant assumes full liability like they do for regular patrons on any given night.